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Councillor Ann Norton

Tandem cycle idea wheeled out by Norton

THE Mayor of Ennis has urged the local authority to get on their bikes and invest in tandem cycles for the county capital which she believes would promote “inclusion around our beautiful town”, writes Jessica Quinn.
Speaking at a recent meeting of the Ennis Municipal District, Councillor Ann Norton suggested the Council look into the possibility of purchasing ‘Fun2Go’ side by side tandem bikes.
Seeking support for the proposal she pointed out September was World Alzheimer’s month.
“Research has shown that exercise is good for people with dementia. Moving ensures that the mental deterioration slows down. You improve your thinking skills, restlessness, passivity and your blood circulation with exercise. 
“Multi-person bikes offer people the opportunity to move together. With the Van Raam Fun2Go side-by-side tandem you can sit comfortably next to each other while enjoying a great bike ride.
“Because you sit next to each other, the supervisor can keep a close eye on the co-driver and assess whether he/she is still having fun or is tired.
“If the co-driver gets tired, the foot plate/step option can also be used or the Fun2Go side-by-side tandem can be put in another position, so that the co-driver doesn’t have to pedal along.
“In this way, the caregiver and patient can enjoy a carefree bicycle ride and the person with dementia gets enough exercise at the same time.
“Take a pleasant day out, for example, and stop in between for a cup of coffee, with a piece of cake.”
Councillor Norton said there is a need to look at different ideas and modes of transport for Ennis that are inclusive.
The tandem bikes had been suggested at a meeting of the Temporary Covid-19 Ennis Town Centre Mobility Plan taskforce prior to its winding down.
She pointed out that Ennis had recently been launched as the county’s first age-friendly town and this initiative would be a positive addition which would support people’s physical and mental health.
The proposal was seconded by Deputy Mayor Councillor Paul Murphy who described it as a “great idea” which would boost inclusiveness and health.

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